Ippolita di Paola, Coach, EPIC Interval Training

Ever wonder why we train barefoot at EPIC? Sure it’s convenient to not have to carry sneakers to work each day. But It’s actually because barefoot training improves your balance, alignment, agility, power, and explosiveness. Active, agile, strong humans weren’t meant to be stuck in shoes all day. Shoes and orthotics have become both a crutch for our weak ankles and flat feet, and a cause of restrictions in our mobility and limits on our strength, putting unnecessary compensatory pressure on the knees, hips, low back, and neck.

If you don’t think the feet are that important, take a second to consider that they carry most of your body weight around all day, everyday, not to mention that the foot and ankle consist of 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 16 muscles, and are covered in proprioceptors–”sensors that provide information about joint angle, muscle length, and muscle tension,…integrated to [provide the brain with] information about the position of the limb in space.” Most movement starts with the neural firing from your feet, so just imagine how much better your kinetic chain of movement will operate if the first signal is clear and strong.

What this means for you–the everyday athlete, the weekend warrior, the fitness newbie, the runner, and the strength addict–is you can finally conquer new goals. As coaches at EPIC Interval Training, we strive to aid you in a journey of constant improvement; to be faster, stronger, and healthier. With barefoot training, you can reach new depth in your squat by improving your ankle mobility and driving properly through your heel; you can perfect your deadlift by corkscrewing your feet into the ground, spiraling your knees out and activating your glutes so that next heavy lift is free of back pain; you can drive your force into the floor for that ballistic, rock solid kettlebell swing; you can explode up off the ground and land softly, rolling through your full foot on a box jump; your newfound balance in a lunge, and quickness on an agility ladder will surprise you! And best yet, your coaches can tell when you’re compensating in your movements, and compromising your form, because we can see when your toes are lifting in your kettlebell swing or your heel is striking on a box jump, allowing us to push your progress in a smart way!

So if you want to improve your speed, agility, explosiveness, power, and strength, all while improving your joint health, muscular alignment, shock absorption, mobility and movement mechanics, keep showing up and kicking ass barefoot while us coaches perfect your form, and push your skills and endurance!

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